Bleeding Heartland 2014 general election prediction contest results

The last U.S. Senate election of 2014 concluded over the weekend, with Republican Bill Cassidy defeating Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu. So, I was finally able to tabulate results from Bleeding Heartland's general election prediction contest.

Thanks to all who entered. Follow me after the jump for full results.  

1. How many Iowans will cast ballots in the 2014 general election? For reference, 1,125,386 Iowans voted in the 2010 general election, and 1,044,459 Iowans voted in the 2006 general election.

Correct answer: 1,142,311 Iowans cast ballots. Although turnout was surprisingly low in this year's Republican primary, Republicans turned out in large numbers for the general.

Bleeding Heartland user Mark R. Schweitzer had the closest guess on this question (1,135,000), narrowly edging out my guess of 1,150,000. Bleeding Heartland user Josyph had the next-closest prediction (1,222,222).

2. What percentage of the vote will U.S. Senate candidates Bruce Braley and Joni Ernst receive? (keep in mind that four other candidates also appear on the ballot)

Correct answer: Ernst 51.5 percent, Braley 43.3 percent, Rick Stewart 2.3 percent, Doug Butzier 0.07 percent, Bob Quast 0.05 percent, Ruth Smith 0.04 percent.

As a group, we did poorly on this question. Although about two-thirds of us correctly predicted that Ernst would win, no one had her winning by anything like the final margin. We mostly believed in the polling average of the IA-Sen race, which had Ernst ahead by 1-2 points. Bleeding Heartland user imcgee was closest with a guess of Ernst 51 percent, Braley 47 percent. Mark R. Schweitzer and ghbraves both guessed Ernst 50, Braley 47. Eric Durbin guessed Ernst 51, Braley 48.

3. What percentage of the vote will Governor Terry Branstad and challenger Jack Hatch receive? (keep in mind that three other candidates also appear on the ballot)

Final results for the Iowa governor's race were omitted from the canvass summary released by the Iowa Secretary of State's office. According to Chance McElhaney of the Iowa Secretary of State's office, "The governor's race is canvassed by the House of Representatives and that happens in January." Following that, the results will be available here along with the other Iowa election totals.

Unofficial results showed 666,023 votes for Branstad (59.0 percent) and 420,778 votes for Hatch (37.3 percent). Libertarian candidate Lee Hieb received 1.8 percent of the vote, and Jonathan Narcisse and Jim Hennager each won 0.9 percent.

All of us correctly predicted that Branstad would win, and most of us guessed that he would win by at least 10 points, but most people had Branstad finishing in the mid-50s. Bleeding Heartland user NEIgirl was closest to the final result, guessing Branstad 59 percent, Hatch 38 percent. MrScarletW placed second on this question, guessing Branstad 60 percent and Hatch 39 percent. I had Branstad at 59 percent and Hatch at 41 (forgetting to account for the minor-party candidates). SouthIowaModerate guessed Branstad 61.6, Hatch 35.4.

4. What percentage of the vote will Pat Murphy and Rod Blum receive in Iowa's first Congressional district?

Correct answer: Blum 51.1 percent, Murphy 48.8 percent.

Most of us guessed Murphy would pull out a close race. But Bleeding Heartland user rockm guessed Blum would win by 51 percent to 49 percent, almost right on the nose. Ditto for SouthIowaModerate, who guessed Blum 51.2 percent, Murphy 48.9 percent, and DHM1985 who had Blum 50.9 percent and Murphy 49.1 percent. Honorable mentions to the others who correctly guessed Blum would win but were a bit further off on the margin: MrScarletW, jdeeth, ghbraves, youngconservative, and imcgee.

5. What percentage of the vote will Dave Loebsack and Mariannette Miller-Meeks receive in IA-02?

Correct answer: Loebsack 52.6 percent, Miller-Meeks 47.4 percent.

All of us predicted Loebsack would prevail in his third match-up against Miller-Meeks. The winner on this question is youngconservative, who nailed it by guessing Loebsack 52.4 percent, Miller-Meeks 47.4 percent. The runner up here was imcgee, who guessed Loebsack 52 percent, Miller-Meeks 47 percent. ModerateIADem, jdeeth, Johannes, and NEIgirl tied for third place by guessing Loebsack 53, Miller-Meeks 47.

6. What percentage of the vote will Staci Appel and David Young receive in IA-03? (keep in mind that two other candidates also appear on the ballot)

Correct answer: Young 52.9 percent, Appel 42.3 percent. Libertarian Edward Wright received about 3.2 percent of the vote and independent Bryan Jack Holder 1.5 percent.

Most of us predicted Young would win, but no one came close to the final margin. The winner on this question was ModerateIADem, who had Young winning by 52 percent to 46 percent, followed by NEIgirl with Young 53, Appel 47 and MrScarletW with Young 52, Appel 47.

7. What percentage of the vote will Jim Mowrer and Steve King receive in IA-04?

Correct answer: King 61.7 percent, Mowrer 38.3 percent.

Almost all of us predicted King would win this very Republican district. MrScarletW called it almost exactly with King 61 percent, Mowrer 38 percent. Second place on this question goes to SouthIowaModerate, who guessed King 58.6 percent, Mowrer 41.4 percent. Bleeding Heartland user imcgee was the next-closest with King 58, Mowrer 42.

8. How many seats will the Democrats and Republicans win in the Iowa House next Tuesday? Currently there are 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats.

Correct answer: 57 Republicans, 43 Democrats.

Almost all of us predicted Republicans would hold their Iowa House majority. Only SouthIowaModerate called the exact number of seats each party would win. DHM1985, rockm, and ModerateIADem all tied for second by guessing the incoming Iowa House would have 56 Republicans and 44 Democrats.

9. How many seats will the Democrats and Republicans win in the Iowa Senate next Tuesday? Currently there are 26 Democrats and 24 Republicans.

Correct answer: 26 Democrats, 24 Republicans.

Most of us predicted Democrats would hold their Iowa Senate majority. The most popular guess was a net gain of one for a 27-23 split. Seven of us correctly guessed that there would be no change in the Iowa Senate majority: chrismpage, Okoboji Mike, ModerateIADem, Mark R. Schweitzer, ghbraves, Johannes, and me.

10. Which Congressional race in Iowa will be the closest (in terms of percentage of vote difference between winner and loser)?

Correct answer: IA-01.

A big crowd got this one right: chrismpage, rockm, purplefan1, SouthIowaModerate, ModerateIADem, ghbraves, jdeeth, NEIgirl, youngconservative, MrScarletW, and imcgee.

11. Which Iowa House or Senate race will be the closest (in terms of percentage of vote difference between winner and loser)?

Correct answer: Iowa House district 55, where Republican Darrel Branhagen edged out Democrat Rick Edwards by 5,962 votes votes to 5,935 votes (50.05 percent to 49.83 percent) in this open seat.

Only Bleeding Heartland user Johannes called this one. Many of us guessed races that were expected to be close, but turned out to be decided by 5-10 points.

Side note: there were no recounts in any Iowa House or Senate races this year, for the first time since I've been following the state legislative races closely.

12. Nationally, which U.S. Senate race will be decided by the narrowest margin (in terms of percentage of the vote difference, not raw votes)?

Correct answer: North Carolina, where Republican Thom Tillis defeated Democratic incubment Kay Hagan by 49.0 percent to 47.3 percent. The races in Colorado and Alaska were the next-closest.

Bleeding Heartland users SouthIowaModerate, ghbraves, and Julie Stauch all guessed North Carolina on this question.

13. How many Democrats and Republicans will be in the U.S. House starting January 2015? (435 total) Currently there are 233 Republicans, 199 Democrats, and two vacancies.

Correct answer: 247 Republicans and 188 Democrats.

At this writing, the race in Arizona's second district is going to a recount, so technically the Republicans have only won 246 seats. Since it looks like the Republican challenger's lead will hold, I am calling it at 247-188, but if there's a surprise in the recount, the GOP majority may end up at 246-189. For the purposes of our contest, it makes no difference.

No one guessed that Republicans would win as many as 247 U.S. House seats, but SouthIowaModerate guessed 246 seats, and rockm 245 seats. Three people tied for third on this question by guessing that Republicans would end up with 244 House seats: DHM1985, Josyph, and MrScarletW.

14. How many Democrats and Republicans will be in the U.S. Senate starting January 2015? (100 total) For this question, I am counting independents who caucus with Democrats as Democrats. Currently there are 55 Democrats (including the two independents who caucus with them) and 45 Republicans.

Correct answer: 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats.

Only Bleeding Heartland user imcgee got this one exactly right. Four people tied for second place by guessing a 53-47 Republican majority: MrScarletW, youngconservative, ghbraves, and SouthIowaModerate.

15. What percentage of the vote will Brad Anderson and Paul Pate receive in the Iowa secretary of state race? (keep in mind that two other candidates also appear on the ballot)

Correct answer: Pate 48.5 percent, Anderson 46.7 percent. Libertarian Jake Porter received 3.0 percent, and Spencer Highland 1.8 percent.

The majority of Bleeding Heartland contest participants guessed Anderson would win by a narrow margin.

Of those who predicted Pate would win, ghbraves was closest to the correct margin, with Pate 50 percent, Anderson 48 percent. Second place on this question goes to youngconservative with a guess of Pate 50.6 percent, Anderson 49 percent. In third place, SouthIowaModerate with a guess of Pate 49.5 percent, Anderson 47.1 percent.

FINAL RESULTS

Several Bleeding Heartland users stood out in this year's general election prediction contest. Honorable mentions go to the following people:

NEIgirl had the best guess on the Iowa governor's race, tied for second on IA-03 and tied for third on IA-02.

rockm was the closest on the IA-01 result and had the second-best guesses on the U.S. House and Iowa House majorities.

youngconservative had the best guess on the IA-02 race and the second-best guesses on the Iowa secretary of state's race and the composition of the new U.S. Senate.

Johannes (winner of this blog's 2010 contest) was the only person to predict which Iowa legislative race would be decided by the narrowest margin. He was among those who correctly guessed the composition of the Iowa Senate, and he tied for the third-best guess on the IA-02 results.

ModerateIADem (a two-time winner of Bleeding Heartland contests) had the best guess on the IA-03 race, tied for second on the composition of the Iowa House, and tied for third on the IA-02 results, as well as correctly predicting no change in the composition of the Iowa Senate.

MrScarletW had the best guess on the IA-04 race and the second-best predictions about the governor's race and the composition of the U.S. Senate, as well as the third-best predictions on the IA-03 race and the composition of the U.S. House. Plus, he was among those who guessed that Blum would win in IA-01.

ghbraves made the best prediction on the Iowa secretary of state race, was right about North Carolina being the closest U.S. Senate race, tied for the second-best guess on the IA-Sen race and the composition of the U.S. Senate, and correctly predicted that Blum would win IA-01 and that the Iowa Senate would stick with a 26-24 Democratic majority.

The overall runner-up was imcgee, who had the best guess on the IA-Sen race (the marquee election in Iowa this cycle) and was the only person in our contest to correctly predict the composition of the U.S. Senate. In addition, imcgee placed second on the IA-02 results, third on the IA-04 results, and guessed that Blum would win in IA-01.

This year's overall winner is SouthIowaModerate, who was the only person to predict the composition of the Iowa House, had the best guess on the composition of the U.S. House, and correctly guessed that North Carolina would be the closest U.S. Senate race. In addition, SouthIowaModerate had the second-best guess on the IA-01 and IA-04 results as well as the composition of the U.S. Senate, the third-best guess on the Iowa secretary of state race, and wasn't far off on the IA-Gov results.

Thanks again to all who entered. Bleeding Heartland will be back with prediction contests for the Iowa caucuses, Congressional primaries, and general elections in 2016.

  • Thank YOU

    For running the contest. I would like to crow about correctly calling my shot that Muhlbauer and Riding would get taken out and McConkey would win in the Bluffs in the Iowa House. But I was way wrong on too many other House races, so I will shut my trap.  I would be happy to offer a prediction on which party will win the election for the Alons seat, however.  

    • even if you guessed wrong on individual races

      you were very close on the final Iowa House numbers for Rs and Ds (unfortunately). Really sad we left the majority on the table in 2012. That was the big opportunity.

      If I were the Libertarians I would try to recruit a local candidate for the Alons seat. What do they have to lose?

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